Shelby County IA
Relating to Plats/Certified Acres
CODE OF IOWA
331.508 Books and records.
The auditor shall keep the following books and
1-9. Other stuff
10. Real estate transfer book, index book,
and plat book
331.511 Duties relating to platting.
The county auditor shall:
1-4. Other stuff
5. Provide for the platting of real estate
which cannot otherwise be accurately
assessed for taxation as provided in
354.13 Auditor’s plats and plats of survey.
Notice shall be served by mail
and a certified copy of the notice shall be recorded. The auditor shall mail
a copy of the notice to the applicable governing bodies. If the proprietors
fail, within thirty days of the notice, to comply with the notice or file with
the auditor a statement of intent to comply, the auditor shall contract with
a surveyor to have a survey made of the property and have a plat of
survey or an auditor’s plat recorded as necessary to comply with this
chapter. Upon receipt of a statement of intent to comply, the auditor may
extend the time period for compliance.
331.512 Duties relating to taxation.
1-9 Other stuff
10. Furnish the assessor a plat book which is
platted with the lands and lots within the
assessment district as provided in section
441.29 Plat book — index system.
The auditor, or the auditor’s designee, of any county shall establish a permanent real estate index
number system with related tax maps for all real estate tax administration purposes, including the
assessment, levy, and collection of such taxes. Wherever in real property tax administration the
legal description of tax parcels is required, such permanent number system shall be adopted in
addition thereto. The permanent real estate index numbers shall begin with the two-digit county
number and be a unique identifying number for each parcel within the county. These numbers shall
follow the property, not the owner, and can be an alphanumeric system. In the event of a division
of an existing parcel, the original permanent parcel index number shall be retired and new numbers
assigned. The auditor shall prepare and maintain permanent real estate index number tax maps,
which shall carry such numbers. The auditor shall prepare and maintain cross indexes of the
numbers assigned under this system, with legal descriptions of the real estate to which such
numbers relate. Indexes and tax maps established as provided herein shall be open to public
June 25, 1965
TAXATION: Property Tax—441.29, Code of Iowa,
1962. The Assessor must rely upon the
Auditor’s Plat Book for there is nothing in the
Iowa Code that will allow him to take an
independent survey to determine the exact
number of acres held by the taxpayer.
The Code says WHO,
but not HOW
Original Records New Records
• Deeds • New Surveys
• Original Surveys • G.I.S. Mapping Systems
• Original Plats
Shelby County Policy
• We base our certified acres on the original
documents. We assume every 40 really has 40
• We change acres only if there is a survey filed
to correct those acres.
• BUT there are problems…..
This is one of our local banks.
Black line is the our Parcel Line layer.
The blue line is our Subdivision layer, which
shows the lot lines.
According to the description and according to
the way the subdivision layer lines up with the
Parcel layer, this bank doesn’t own their drive
thru lane. The subdivision layer is off 12-15’.
This is one of our small towns.
If you look closely, the street layer doesn’t line up
with the actual streets. Parcel lines go through
the middle of buildings.
If we based our data strictly from GIS info, we
would be taxing the neighbor for part of that
garage, and how would we address the fact that
the town did not construct their streets 100 plus
years ago “exactly” where they were platted?
The blue area is a certified drainage ditch.
You can see that the ditch has chosen its own path.
The farmer to the east is getting credit for the
ditch & farming it. The farmer to the west has
the ditch and no credit for it.
The red line notes a survey that was done which
describes the drainage ditch as “west” of the
We know it is not correct, but if we were going to
use the GIS info, I wouldn’t know where to
According to the soil survey, the entire parcel
has an 88 CSR, our average is 66, plus it does
not show any water feature on this parcel.
We have a small pond on a different parcel,
barely visible on the map, and shows as a
water feature with zero CSR.
Is this a Soil Survey issue??
WASTE LAND MEASUREMENT
If we were going to measure out the wasteland?
Where IS the waste land from the picture?
Is the land to the east of the line grass, buffer
strip—is that waste land? But are they earning
The land north is different texture—is that
Where do you start and stop?
WE ARE NOT ALONE
• North Carolina
• North Dakota
• Neither system of certifying acres is 100% accurate.
How do we decide which to use?
• We acknowledge that our technology gives us more
accurate info than was available when the county was
laid out years ago, but it is not perfect.
• If we try to implement certification with the new
technology, we would need statewide standards.
• What about the counties that do not have the
manpower or the funding or don’t have GIS at all?